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What Is Stress?. Chapter 1. Chapter Overview. Important researchers of stress and their contributions Types of stress Stress reactivity: general adaptation syndrome Defining stress. Before we begin, ask yourself…. What stresses you out? How do you deal with stress?.

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chapter overview
Chapter Overview
  • Important researchers of stress and their contributions
  • Types of stress
  • Stress reactivity: general adaptation syndrome
  • Defining stress
before we begin ask yourself
Before we begin, ask yourself…
  • What stresses you out?
  • How do you deal with stress?
slide4
Before we formally define stress, let’s take a look at some influential researchers and how they contributed to our knowledge of stress.
walter cannon
Walter Cannon
  • First to describe the effects of acute stress
  • Termed this stress reaction as the fight-or-flight response
  • A primitive response that quickly increases heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, and serum cholesterol
hans selye
Hans Selye
  • Studied the effects of long-term (chronic) stress
  • Summarized his findings by proposing a three-phase process called the general adaptation syndrome
    • alarm reaction
    • stage of resistance
    • stage of exhaustion
other influential researchers
Other Influential Researchers
  • Simeons -- related evolution to psychosomatic disease (twentieth century concept)
  • Wolff, LeShan, Engel -- studied illness, disease, and stress
  • Friedman & Rosenman -- identified relationship between stress and coronary heart disease
  • Simonton -- imagery and cancer therapy
techniques and concepts have developed over the years including
Techniques and concepts have developed over the years, including:
  • Relaxation response (Benson)
  • Autogenic training (Schultz, Luthe)
  • Progressive muscular relaxation, bracing, imagery (Jacobson)
  • Biofeedback (Budzynski)
stress theory
Stress Theory
  • Several theories explain the causes of stress:
    • Life events theory: situation requires more resources than are available
    • Hardiness theory: one’s attitude toward the events determines stress
    • Social support theory: insufficient social support for responding to event
the stressor
The Stressor
  • Stressor (stimulus)
    • biological
    • psychological
    • sociological
    • philosophical
  • Stress reactivity (fight-or-flight response)
    • All effects are based on duration and degree of one’s physiological reaction
    • There may be gender differences
definition of stress
Definition of Stress
  • Mason described the different uses of the word stress:
    • stimulus
    • response
    • whole spectrum of interacting factors (Lazarus)
    • stimulus-response interaction
is the glass half full or half empty
Is the glass half full or half empty?
  • A situation can be stressful or not -- it all depends on your perception of the event
  • A response to stress can be effective or not -- it depends on your resources and coping strategies
  • Refer to table 1.2
goals for stress management
Goals for Stress Management
  • Do not eliminate all stress
  • Use as a motivator for peak performance
  • Stress can be useful, stimulating, and welcome
  • Limit harmful effects